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Spain, Red Blend, Tempranillo, Cabernet, and Syrah, Abadía Retuerta, Selección Especial, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León, Sardón de Duero, Duero, 2013

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Red blend of: 75% tempranillo, 15% cabernet sauvignon, 10% syrah and other red varieties such as merlot and petit verdot. C/ Squid ink, blood, and beet juice. Awesome. N/ A dark, lurid tarn (which, I love the smell of by the way). Deep mature oak notes, massive black and purple fruits, wafts of country sage […]

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Chile, Carménère, Ventisquero, Grey, Glacier, Maipo Valley, Trinidad Vineyard, 2013

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If you have had a few bottles of under $20 carménère in the past and have been put off by either the smoky and/or reduced aromas, you are in luck. This wine has none of those traits and is absolutely delicious, balanced, and elegant. N/ Dusty black fruits, wild herbs, multiple wood aromas, slate, and […]

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France, Sparkling, Crémant, Brut, Côté Mas, M, Jean-Claude Mas & St. Hilaire, Limoux, Languedoc

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N/ Salt/marine, red apple skins, toast, hay, oyster shells, and light notes of crushed rock. T/ medium mouthfeel. Salty sea spray on freshly cut, ripe red apples. Clean lines of mineral and salt. She closes with a lingering crisp apple taste and a lime zest mouth-water. Extended finish. Bravo. At this price? For a non […]

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Spain, Tempranillo, Campo Viejo, 2013

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N/ Red berries, cassis, brick dust, tobacco, crushed slate, eucalyptus, smoky forest floor, black soil. Earthy loveliness. T/ Medium weight mouthfeel. Red berries, ripe cranberry, smoked meats. Delicious wood, tobacco, and cedar notes. The flavors of sweet boysenberries without the sugary notes. Mineral and acid dancing on her close, which begs for another sip. Absolutely delicious. Flat out […]

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USA, Syrah, Rusack Vineyards, Ballard Canyon Estate, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, California, 2011

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Red blend of: 91% syrah and 9% petite sirah. N/ Deep plum and blackberry stew, black cherries, and dark black soil. Rosemary, smoldering campfire, and split flint. Clean aromas of a fall forest floor. Fantastic. T/ Medium full to full mouthfeel. Amazingly smooth. A light glycerol weight that helps bind together a remarkably balanced load […]

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USA, Sauvignon Blanc, Malk Family Vineyards, Napa Valley, Oak Knoll District, California, 2012

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N/ As with all her previous vintages, thankfully zero cat/ammonia wafts. Soft, clean, cream and toast notes layered over gorgeous, dripping, aromas of pear and yellow tropicals. Freshly steeped hay. Citrus zest over crushed river rocks. Yellow flowers. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Multiple layers of tropicals, soft citrus, pear, lychee, and yellow flowers. Honeydew melon with a spritz […]

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Argentina and Chile, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, Amancaya, Gran Reserva, Bodegas Caro, Les Domaines Barons De Rothschild (Lafite) (Chile) & Catena (Argentina), Mendoza, 2010

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Red blend of: 65% Malbec and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. C/ Her color is deep, dark blueberry juice and squid inky with brick dust hues. Gorgeous. N/ She fronts with an intense flint, gunpowder, and mineral blast. Then comes a deep black fruits and blueberry stew with violets and more rock elements at play. A touch […]

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Argentina, Malbec, Dona Paula, Los Cardos, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, 2011

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N/ Dried rose petals start off the journey and dominate for first twenty or so minutes, gradually giving way to a distinct, powerful, and delightful orange zest. Black cherries and black fruits.  Deep violet notes. Aged oak and leather. Forest floor. Rock dust. Fantastico. T/ Medium to medium full mouthfeel. For first 30 minutes her […]

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Beer, Brazil, Wheat Beer, St. Gallen, Weissbier, Teresópolis, Rio de Janeiro

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N/ Wonderful and rich cloves, bananas, and carmelized malts. Salty sea spray. Toasty yeasts. Clean, inviting, and soft. T/ Round, easy, but full mouthfeel. Christmas holidays in a glass. Clove and nutmeg floating on soft, nicely candied, malts. Delicious! Price = 14R (Brasil) = $6.50 US 750ml 5.5% alcohol http://www.cervejariastgallen.com.br/ N = A T = […]

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Winery & Vineyards Visits – Acorn Winery (Alegría Vineyard) in the Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA

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Highlights The warm and knowledgable Betsy and Bill. True “Field blending” (40-50 different grape types on just 27 acres). Great wines. Excellent and down-to-earth atmosphere and wine making approach. Solid soil and cork learning tools on display in the tasting room. Learning without effort. 40-50 varietals = from A to Z, seriously. Madeline Angevine and […]

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USA, Gewürztraminer, “Dolcino”, Castello di Amorosa, Anderson Valley, Mendocino County, California, 2010

Note: slightly sweet, with residual sugar at 36 g/L, but her acid work balances that out so well that this can be a sipping, not just desert, delight. N/ Pure, huge aromas of green apple, but also distinct wafts of red apple skins. Pears, honey, and stewed honeysuckle. Light burlap and yellow grasses. Absolutely gorgeous. Best mimic of […]

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(Winery & Vineyard Visits), Castello di Amorosa, Calistoga, Napa Valley, California, USA

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Castello di Amorosa crafts some great wines, as I’ve reviewed in the past.  So when I was planning my most recent Napa and Sonoma tour, Castello was high on my hit list of places to visit. I also had another motivation to see the castle, as I wanted to finally meet, in person, my friend […]

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USA, Sauvignon Blanc, Malk Family Vineyards, Napa Valley, California, 2011

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N/ Admirably, no cat/ammonia. Freshly steeped hay. Crushed granite and river rocks. Multiple citrus and melon notes. Oyster shells and marine wafts. Lemon zest and white flowers on the close. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Smooth, velvety yellow fruits, citrus, honeysuckle, and a hint of pear. Thick, complex, minerality. Long, toast and mineral finish. A wonderfully unique and […]

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Chile, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Casa Silva / Los Vascos, Domaines Barones de Rothschild (Lafite) / Cono Sur / Nimbus / Veramonte / Santa Rita / De Martino / Concha y Toro

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      Wines of Chile Blogger Tasting 5 Sauvignon Blancs and 3 Chardonnays from various locales in Chile (Casablanca, Colchagua, Leyda, and Limari Valleys). Master Sommelier Fred Dexheimer (@FredDexMS) as host. These wines were generously provided by the wineries, Wines of Chile (@DrinkChile & @WinesofChile), and the Thomas Collective (@TTC_Tweets). Sound-bite Summary As I tweeted at the […]

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France, Gamay, Cru Beaujolais, Georges Duboeuf, Wine Tasting Event

Georges Duboeuf Wine Tasting Event Cru Beaujolais Grape: Gamay, which of note, is a cross of Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc, the latter a white varietal. Prices: An astoundingly affordable $14 – $18.  Incredible QP2R here. Hosts: Yann Bourigault, Export Director for Georges Duboeuf Wines and Gwendolyn Osborn of Wine.com.  Twitter handle: @Wine_com The Wines: 2010 […]

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(Winery & Vineyard Visits), A wonderful visit to Tulocay!, Coombsville AVA, Napa Valley, California, USA // Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah

What a winery visit this was!  Fantastically engaging winemaker / owner (Bill Cadman), lovely, laid-back, completely off any beaten touristy wine path Coombsville vibe, fantastic scenery, cute as all get out wine doggy, a ceremonial plate of (oddly mostly Risky Business style) sunglasses left over from forgetful wine enthusiasts, and, most importantly…..wonderful wines at epic […]

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USA, Zinfandel (with supporting cast), The Verdict, Evidence Wines, Lodi and Napa, California, 2009

Red blend of: 90% Zinfandel, 5% Sangiovese, and 5% Sauzao. N/ Lightly smoked cassis and blackcherries. Confectionery dusted, warm, lush oaks. Gentle white pepper. Cigar box. Dark chocolate. Oh my! Wonderfully complex nose for a Zinfandel – devoid of flabby jam notes – just pure, delicious aroma layers. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Big acid pop for a […]

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USA, Red Blend (Zinfandel dominated), Unorthodox, Evidence Wines, Lodi and Napa, California, 2009

Red blend of: 70% Zinfandel, 10% Sangiovese, 5% Sauzao, 5% Tempranillo, 5% Syrah, and 5% of my friend Tannat. Note: she started out, as the winemaker wisely warned me – a tad tight due to very recent bottling. However, 45 – 60 minutes after decant, she began to really shine… N/ Elegantly restrained and clean for a Zinfandel based blend. […]

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USA, Chenin Blanc & Viognier, Pine Ridge in Napa Valley, (Clarksburg, Lodi, & Napa grapes), California, 2010

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The Chenin Blanc is sourced from Clarksburg and the Viognier from Lodi. N/ Bright, acidic crisp hay. Clean burlap. If you allow me to wax…. ripe yellow fruits juiced over river stones in the midday sun. Lime zest. White flowers. Granite and cement, in a good way. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Dripping yellow fruits and lime. […]

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(Winery & Vineyard Visits), Ceja Vineyards, Napa Valley, Califorina, USA

Ceja Vineyards Wine Passion Babbling Section If you are reading this it is almost certainly because you are a member of the club of people that believe in wine.  Now when I say “believe”, I mean to imply that you view wine as an entity that can be far more than simply the sum of […]

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